This time of the virus has really gone a long way to defining what is essential to me.  I’ve seen the saying “when you have your health, you have everything” go from theory to reality.   I now use a different scale to weigh what is essential to my well being and the running of my household, and have a different definition of what it takes to make me feel good.

One of my essentials is my immediate family – my husband, my dogs and our cat.  I am glad that my sister and I are able to speak daily on Facebook.  I am more bothered by the estrangement from my other sister.  I’ve offered her an olive branch (and I am not at all sure what I did to cause our estrangement), because I don’t want to be the person that engages in a power struggle of being right.  She hasn’t taken the olive branch, but I still send her upbeat emails, hoping that she will reach out.

The clothes that I once deemed essential have been reduced to leggings and a tee shirt.  The shoes that I deemed essential to looking pulled together are reduced to a single pair of black flats.  This is not to say that I won’t want to dress up when I am back to going out, but for now, these are my essentials.

My creativity is an essential in this crisis.  I’m spending more time thinking about dishes I make for dinner.  The abundance of food that I have always taken for granted, has been diminished and I’m having to think about introducing new ingredients to my cooking.  I can’t take for granted that the farmer’s market will be there or that I will find fresh fruits and vegetables in the store.  Since chicken has become scarce, I find myself wanting to stretch the chicken I have on hand into multiple dishes.  I don’t live in an area where there are a lot of restaurants offering take out, and no one delivers out here.

My E-book.  With bookstores closed down, I love that I can still order books online and download them.  Reading is and always has been an essential part of my life and nothing about our current situation has changed that.

In the past I have spent a lot of time thinking of new decorating ideas or wishing this or the other thing was different.  Now I realize that my house is fine as it is – that it provides the shelter that we need in uncertain times.  Projects that I planned to do this year are postponed for the near term or may not get done at all.  And that will be okay.

Finally there is nature.  Despite the situation, Spring has arrived.  The trees are leafy and the shrubs and blooming.  The weather is getting nicer.  I watch the birds in their brightest feathers coming to the feeders on my porch, listen to them chirping and watch them gathering materials to build nests.  Yes, I am still having to cope with squirrels on my feeders, but this morning I noticed a mama squirrel, her mammary glands prominent.  I know she must be feeding babies in a nest in the trees.  I have a Facebook friend who posts the most gorgeous sunrise pictures every morning – because no matter what happens, the sun will rise every day.   Nature is one of my essentials.

Of course, there if coffee -that first cup in the morning; sharing toast with my toast crazed hound dog; my Beau kitty jumping up on my keyboard because he wants my attention.  Talu still seeks me out for bones and Lady, who seeks me out for love and petting.  The feel of clean sheets on the bed and fresh towels in the bathroom make me feel good.  Inside my home, it’s pretty much business as usual, no matter how scary or crazy the outside world gets.

Until next time. Elsie




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